Get away to Kyoto! Enjoy the temples, culture, and history.

Kyoto, on the Japanese island of Honshu, has been a hub of religious activity and political power since the eighth century. It was once the capital of Japan and retains many of the temples and palaces built within this period. Step back in time to imperial Japan as you explore the city’s many World Heritage Sites such as the Kiyomizu Temple. Kyoto is also renowned for its landscaped gardens, many of which are based on designs dating back hundreds of years.

The wealth of cultural history in Kyoto can be overwhelming and it can be difficult to know where to start. Take the Philosopher’s Walk to orient yourself around some of Kyoto’s historic sights, such as the Eikando Temple. The walk takes in three major temples as well as several smaller temples and shrines, boutique shopping areas and restaurants where you can sample the traditional Japanese multicourse dinner, kaiseki. Cherry blossoms line the walk during spring, and in the fall, the area comes alive with the brilliant reds of maple trees.

Central Kyoto offers a combination of modern and traditional delights. Ride up the Kyoto Tower for a 360-degree view over the city from 330 feet (100 meters) up. Explore the Nishiki Market, lined with restaurants, and fresh produce and street food stalls. See giant salamanders and local river fish at the Kyoto Aquarium.

At one of the regular festivals held in the city, taste some of the food brought to Kyoto from all over Japan to please the Emperor, watch traditional crafts being made, take a lesson in saké brewing and experience the culture of Japan.

Lovers of Japanese literature will enjoy the 17th-century Katsura Imperial Villa, built to resemble the fictional setting of the 11th-century novel The Tale of Genji.

Tourism is a large part of Kyoto’s economy and there are some unique attractions such as hand feeding wild snow monkeys at Arashiyama Monkey Park. Kyoto has a welcoming atmosphere, incredible natural beauty and layered history.

Known for

Temples, Culture and Gardens

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Where to stay in Kyoto

Central Kyoto
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Central Kyoto

Temples, Castles, Flowers

Enjoy the popular shops in Central Kyoto. Nijō Castle is a worthwhile stop, and you can jump on the metro at Nijojo-mae Station or Karasumaoike Station to see more of Kyoto.

Gion
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Gion

Temples, Culture, Flowers

Experience a traditional tea ceremony or a night of cultural entertainment within the historic wooden teahouses of this well-preserved Kyoto district.

Arashiyama
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Arashiyama

Temples, Rivers, Culture

Arashiyama is noteworthy for its river views, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Kyoto Arashiyama Orgel Museum and Bamboo Forest Street.

Shijo
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Shijo

Festivals, Culture, Budget

Coffeehouses and spas are highlights of Shijo. Make a stop by Nishiki Market or Kawaramachi while you're visiting, and jump aboard the metro at Shijo Station to get around town.

Karasuma
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Karasuma

Festivals, Culture, Temples

Karasuma is highly notable for its popular shops, and you might want to visit top sights like Nishiki Market and Kawaramachi. See more of Kyoto by jumping on the metro at Shijo Station or Karasumaoike Station.

Sanjo
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Sanjo

Flowers, Temples, Culture

Kawaramachi and Pontocho are top sights in Sanjo, and you should be sure to explore the popular shops. Hop aboard the metro at Sanjo Keihan Station or Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station to see more sights in the area.

Top Hotels in Kyoto

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Image for RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
4 out of 5
1 Taimatsu-cho, Shiokoji-sagaru, HigashiHorikawa-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
¥9,360/night
Sep 17 - Sep 18
4.4/5Excellent! (3,061 reviews)

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nishihonganji Temple, Kyoto Tower, and Kyoto Aquarium. Higashi Honganji Temple and Toji Temple ...

4.4/5Excellent! (3,061 reviews)

"The hotel has a bit of distance to the Kyoto station but they have free shuttle bus which run every 15 minutes. It may take you 10 minutes to walk to the bus and subway stations. Their room has decent size. Although i couldn't find any outlets near bed so I couldn’t charge my phone when in bed and ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep 11, 2019

RIHGA Royal Hotel Kyoto
Image for Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA 
Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA 
4 out of 5
44-1, Kamitonodacho, Higashikujo, Minami-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
¥9,606/night
Sep 17 - Sep 18
4.7/5Exceptional! (69 reviews)

Located in Higashikujo Nishisannocho, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Kyoto TERRSA and Kyoto Tower. Higashi Honganji Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (69 reviews)

"Brand new hotel which is close to everything. Practically right next to Kyoto station."…"

Reviewed on Sep 12, 2019

Hotel Vischio Kyoto by GRANVIA 
Image for Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto
4 out of 5
15 Nishi-Iwamotocho, Higashi-kujo, Kyoto, Kyoto
¥10,371/night
Sep 23 - Sep 24
4.7/5Exceptional! (757 reviews)

Located in Central Kyoto, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kyoto TERRSA, Kyoto Tower, and Higashi Honganji Temple. Sanjusangendo Temple and Kyoto Aquarium ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (757 reviews)

"Excellent service, rooms are clean and spacious the restaurant has a great variety of dishes."…"

Reviewed on Sep 14, 2019

Daiwa Royal Hotel Grande Kyoto

Popular things to do in Kyoto

Kiyomizu Temple
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Photo provided by JNTO

Kiyomizu Temple

Constructed entirely without nails and built on high poles, this temple is part of a World Heritage Site and offers visitors both beauty and history.

Kyoto Imperial Palace
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Kyoto Imperial Palace

Learn more about the local history when you visit Kyoto Imperial Palace, a well-known historical site in Kyoto. Discover the top-notch restaurants and fascinating museums in this culturally-rich area.

Nijō Castle
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Nijō Castle

Visit the world of the wealthy and powerful shogun, in this opulent 17th-century castle complex.

Kyoto Tower
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Photo provided by City of Kyoto and Kyoto Tourism Council

Kyoto Tower

In a city known for its temples and other ancient relics, this observation point catches the eye as an example of 20th-century innovation.

Fushimi Inari Shrine
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Fushimi Inari Shrine

This shrine at the base of Inari Mountain is dedicated to the goddess of rice and prosperity. See its thousands of red gates around a network of beautiful trails.

Toji Temple
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Toji Temple

The To-ji Temple is one of the preeminent traditional sites in Kyoto, with exquisite structures, a flea market and the tallest pagoda in the country.

Top activities in Kyoto

Kyoto Perfect Tour: 1day bus tour
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Kyoto Perfect Tour: 1day bus tour

¥14,000

Discover the 3 World Heritage listed sites (Kiyomizu temple, Tenrryuji temple and Kinkakuji Temple) in Kyoto. Besides, we will visit 2 popular spots: Fushimi Inari Shrine and bamboo forest in Sagano. Please be intoxicated magnificent Japanese historical places.

Full-Day Bus Tour to Kyoto, Nara & Kobe
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Full-Day Bus Tour to Kyoto, Nara & Kobe

¥10,588

Take a journey through the wonders of ancient and modern Japan with a day trip that shows you the historic cities of Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. With destinations from the peaceful bamboo forest of Arashiyama to the lively Kobe Mosaic, you get a look at centuries' worth of culture.

Kyoto & Nara 1-Day Tour
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Kyoto & Nara 1-Day Tour

¥15,600

Explore the must-see sights of history-rich Kyoto, including the spectacular Nijo Castle, eminent Kinkaku-ji, and grand Kyoto Imperial Palace. In the afternoon, embark for Nara, home of pacific Nara Park and the famous temple of Todai-ji.

Kyoto Full-Day Tour
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Kyoto Full-Day Tour

¥14,000

Spend a full day discovering the best sights Kyoto has to offer, including grand castles and sacred temples. These spectacular attractions make your time in Kyoto an unforgettable experience.

Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience
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Private Japanese Small Katana Forging Experience

¥15,776

Forge your very own Japanese kogatana (small blade) with an artisan swordsmith. Learn about the traditional blade-forging process, which uses the same materials and techniques as a full-size katana. At the end of the experience, take the beautiful product of your creation home with you.

Gion Evening Highlights Tour with National Licensed Guide
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Gion Evening Highlights Tour with National Licensed Guide

¥1,500

With a National Licensed and Experienced English speaking guide, this short trip is a fantastic and great value way of experiencing Gion district! We are here to help you discover new things, places and experiences in Gion.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Kyoto

Sustainable Travel & Ecotourism in Japan
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Sustainable Travel & Ecotourism in Japan

From the serenity of ancient shrines to the electric lights of Akihabara, here are some sustainable tourism tips for being a responsible traveler in Japan.

How to Spend a Weekend in Kyoto, Japan
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How to Spend a Weekend in Kyoto, Japan

With its ancient palaces and vibrant cherry blossom, a weekend in Kyoto promises a magical journey to the heart of Japan.

Kyoto Food Tours
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Kyoto Food Tours

Matcha ice cream, vegan ramen, and a bar hopping Izakaya adventure await you in Kyoto.

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